Compromising Positions | Into the Black | Contact

Care

Notes: Eli can be mighty persuasive. I wasn't going to write anything for this fandom, but lookie here.




The air sings as his blade cuts it again and again in an age-old, honoured rhythm. Just because he does not play by the old rules, does not mean that the old techniques are not to be mastered, perfected, and used. Light from the candles used to keep the darkness at bay bounces off the blade, reflecting a sliver of illumination that dances along the ceiling. Sweat slides down his back as he pushes himself harder and harder – a turn here a twist there, a jab with a hidden dagger, and his invisible enemies fall one by one.

A very faint noise by the door catches his attention and he spins, weapons at the ready – he may be surrounded by his own men here at the Itto-Ryu school, but he would be foolish to believe he was safe.

“Magatsu!” he cries out softly at the sight of his friend crumpled in a bloody heap in front of the doorway. Anotsu sheaths his blades and quickly moves to Magatsu’s side.

Blood. So much blood. It covers Magatsu – it can’t all be his, or he’d be dead already and not just dying. Anotsu smiles coldly, pleased that Magatsu at least did his enemy some serious damage before leaving the field of battle. Not caring that he’s getting the sticky fluid all over himself, Anotsu picks Magatsu up and carries him to the bedding he has set up in the corner.

Anotsu goes to the door and in a calm, steady voice, calls for clean linen, hot water, and a needle and thread. After he has obtained the necessary supplies, he slides the door shut on the inquisitive faces, ordering them to go about their business.

Slowly, gently, Anotsu removes Magatsu’s robes, peeling the blood-soaked garments off him and tossing them on the floor. He keeps telling himself that everything will be fine, that the wounds are not as bad as they seem, that Magatsu is young and strong, but he knows he’s lying to himself. The wounds ARE that bad – the hole in Magatsu’s back alone is enough to kill a man – in combination with the other damage, they could in all likelihood spell the end for his friend, especially if an infection sets in.

Anotsu grimaces at the thoughts running through his head. “Friend” he scoffs at himself. Even though they have yet to act on their mutual attraction, Magatsu is one hell of a lot more than just a friend to him. He pushes the distracting thoughts away and sets his mind to the task at hand.

He soaks one of the cloths in the steaming water and slides it gently along Magatsu’s flesh, wiping at the blood. Over and over Anotsu does this until the basin of water is red with blood and Magatsu’s skin is clean once again. Anotsu rolls Magatsu over onto his stomach and begins his examination – the cut in his back still seeps slowly, but there is no hitch in Magatsu’s breathing, so his lungs are still intact – the blood on his lips must come from a different injury, likely from a blow to the stomach.

Anotsu gets up and goes over to a cupboard and fetches a nearly full bottle of sake. He says a quiet prayer to the gods that Magatsu is unconscious as he dumps nearly the entire contents into the open wound. Even out cold, Magatsu flinches as the purifying alcohol burns into him. Anotsu takes a swig from the bottle, downing the last of the liquid.

With slightly trembling fingers, he threads the needle, which he then holds in the flame of a candle to sterilize it. Taking a deep breath, Anotsu begins the slow, steady work of sewing Magatsu back together again. After an endless length of time, Anotsu wipes sweat from his brow with his sleeve and ties the final knot. He rests back on his heels and surveys the mess around him and gets up to create a clean place for Magatsu to sleep.

He pulls some extra bedding out of a dresser and creates a soft nest of blankets and pillows. Anotsu changes his blood-stained robes and places his weapons near the bedding, within easy reach. Returning to Magatsu, he lifts him in one smooth motion, and carries him to the fresh bed. He lowers him gently and then kneels beside him.

Anotsu remains at Magatsu’s side the remainder of the night, holding his hand, checking his pulse, running his fingers through the ridiculously spiked hair, trying, with no avail, to flatten it into some semblance of order.

Shortly before dawn, Anotsu rises to make tea. Just as he’s finishing, he hears a quiet moan from the bed. He returns to Magatsu and helps him sit up. He puts an arm around his shoulders and offers him the tea.

“What happened?”

Magatsu cups his hands around Anotsu’s and takes a sip of the tea before speaking. “Manji,” he answers hoarsely.

Anotsu curses, gritting his teeth in anger. “How?”

“G..girl in town…” Magatsu begins. It is obvious to Anotsu that the effort just to speak was taxing what little strength Magatsu had gained overnight, so he decides to drop the interrogation for now. “Never mind. We will speak of this later.”

Magatsu takes another drink from the cup and squeezes Anotsu’s hand gently. “He’s good,” he murmurs.

“Good as me?”

Magatsu shakes his head slightly, the small motion causing him to wince in pain, and opens his mouth to speak again.

“Shhh, Magatsu, rest.” He takes a sip of the tea and puts it aside before helping Magatsu lie down on his stomach once again. Magatsu rests his head against the side of Anotsu’s thigh and throws an arm over his legs before he slips back into a deep sleep.

Anotsu finishes the tea and strokes Magatsu’s hair gently. He had considered asking the bodyguard to join him (after the girl was dead, of course) – anyone who could take down so many of his men would be an asset to his cause – but now for this, for the damage he had done to one so precious, he must die.